The commissioner shall make competitive grants to political subdivisions to increase composting, reduce the amount of organic wastes entering disposal facilities, and reduce the costs associated with hauling waste by locating the composting site as close as possible to the site where the waste is generated. To achieve the purpose of the grant program, the commissioner shall actively recruit potential applicants beyond traditional solid waste professionals and organizations, such as soil and water conservation districts and schools. Each grant must include an educational component on the methods and benefits of composting.
(a) The commissioner must develop forms and procedures for soliciting and reviewing applications for grants under this section.
(b) The determination of whether to make a grant under this section is within the discretion of the commissioner, subject to subdivision 4. The commissioner's decisions are not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of discretion.
(a) If applications for grants exceed the available appropriations, grants must be made for projects that, in the commissioner's judgment, provide the highest return in public benefits.
(b) To be eligible to receive a grant, a project must:
(1) be locally administered;
(2) have measurable outcomes; and
(3) include at least one of the following elements:
(i) the development of erosion control methods that use compost;
(ii) activities to encourage on-site composting by homeowners; or
(iii) activities to encourage composting by schools or public institutions.
If a grant is awarded under this section and funds are not encumbered for the grant within four years after the award date, the grant must be canceled.